‘If I Could Slit His Neck’: HanAssholeSolo Critic Describes Alt-Right Death Threats

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Via Jared Yates Sexton for Politico

It took only a few minutes to figure out that HanAssholeSolo, the person behind President Donald Trump’s most retweeted tweet, had also used racial slurs and posted derogatory comments about Muslims. Then, there was the one that caused all the problems: a thread titled “Something Strange About CNN…can’t quite put my finger on it…,” with a graphic of dozens of the network’s talents with tiny blue Stars of David.

Shared more than 300,000 times, and the subject of debate over whether it inspired violence against the media, HanAssholeSolo’s animated GIF reengineered Trump’s 2007 WrestleMania appearance into a living, breathing political cartoon in which the ostensible leader of the free world clotheslined a man with the CNN logo for a face and then proceeded to beat him with his fists. Allies argued it was a joke and all in good fun, but the post I uncovered painted it in a new, more sinister, light.

My reporting on the Stars of David meme quickly went viral. At this moment it’s been shared more than 14,000 times by the likes of CNN’s own Jake Tapper and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who’s had his own run-ins with the president as of late. In the past, when a post or story of mine has garnered that much attention, I’ve always dealt with the inevitable criticism and harassment that follows. Sure enough, it wasn’t far behind.

Before the hour was up, I was receiving messages from the usual customers: anonymous accounts with Pepe avatars and bios declaring themselves “ethnonationalists” and “white identitarians.” Despite my Southern Baptist upbringing, they assumed I was Jewish because I’d uncovered anti-Semitism, and so the threats and memes predictably featured pictures of Adolf Hitler, scenes from the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic garbage. I was peppered with the usual slurs and insults before a user calling his or herself “Pepe’s Imam” told me: “There’s a civil war coming, leftist. Memes are the least of your problems.”

Over the past few weeks I’d heard plenty of talk about a new civil war, this one supposedly the looming violent clash between left and right. Since last year I’ve been threatened regularly, including an incident in which somebody circled my house at 4 in the morning, and so I’ve kept a close eye on extreme right-wing communities. In their posts and on the subculture’s favorite media outlet InfoWars, I’d heard talk of that conflict, but now the rhetoric seemed universal.

I returned to the Reddit forum where HanAssholeSolo had been posting, a subreddit called The_Donald in which extreme supporters of the president rail against the “MSM,” or the mainstream media, and journalists like myself. They’d already spun my outing of their confederate as part of the larger conspiracy against them and the man they call “God Emperor.” By following their posting histories, I found plenty of mentions of that civil war, as well as subreddits like Physical_Removal that focused on “removing” problematic members of the media and liberals.

In the past few hours I’d been getting plenty of threats about going on a “helicopter ride” and cartoons of people being hurled out the doors of an airborne chopper. Here I found it was all a reference to the murderous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s practice of tossing his victims into the sea. The posters there, and in my Twitter feed, seemed to take a great deal of pleasure at the thought of replicating that atrocity in modern-day America.

Other threats appeared on related sites, particularly on 4chan, the wild west of internet forums. Here, in reference to my reporting, they talked openly about “the Journocaust,” a term some used in place of the civil war. The fantasy seemed to be open hostilities in which journalists, academics and liberals could be hung in public, an event some called “The Day of the Rope” after a plot point in William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel about a fictional race war some in the extreme right hold as a holy book of sorts.

One anonymous member counseled on how to intimidate and threaten me without running afoul of social media moderators and the authorities. Another posted excerpts from a short story about killing journalists with lines like, “the media lies, the media dies” and “a traitor in front of a camera is still just a traitor.” Yet another said death was too good for journalists and “they should have their flesh twisted from their bones.”

And then, this:

I mean, he’s not wrong. If I could slit his flabby neck and dump him in a ditch somewhere without getting caught, I absolutely would in a heartbeat.

Same goes for pretty much any shitlib whiny or fake-news propagandist. The only thing stopping me is that it would be inconvenient, and the fact that the law enforcement apparatus is still semi-functional.

I’m surrounded by people who feel the same way. Shitlibs have dehumanized themselves in our eyes. We simply don’t give a shit about them, don’t consider them human.

Trump’s stupid meme didn’t do anything to reinforce that belief. Decades of constant browbeating, whining, lying, and despicable deception by leftists and their media establishment are what did it.

I learned last year the best strategy is to be open about this kind of stuff and expose it however possible. On my Twitter feed I prepared screenshots of the offending rhetoric while critics accused me of lying. The left is the violent group, they told me while linking to stories about clashes with antifascist groups. In the same thread, as they claimed I’d made the whole thing up, the anti-Semitic materials and threats were piling up.

Things didn’t slow down.

The Daily Stormer, the most popular Neo-Nazi publication in America, set its sights on me and declared my agenda as “Jewish.”

Then, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and recent U.S. Senate candidate David Duke, one of the leaders in white supremacist thought, weighed in and said people like me had “promoted the mass collective guilt of Whites and laughed about it,” a charge that seemed to open the door for more white supremacists to come after me.

Paul Joseph Watson, second banana over at Alex Jones’ conspiracy empire InfoWars, criticized me for discussing the harassment, criticism that then led to Jones’ army to join in.

While Neo-Nazis and 9/11 Truthers sent more memes and threats, people kept talking about the original GIF that’d started the whole mess. Wrestling is fake, they said. A choreographed fight that’s nothing more than some harmless fun.

I kept thinking about HanAssholeSolo’s posting record. His rampant use of racial slurs. His talk of wanting all Muslims eliminated. The CNN meme with the Stars of David. That wrestling GIF that, upon first glance, might appear to be tongue-in-cheek, but, with closer inspection, hides something much, much darker.

HanAssholeSolo has apologized, and vowed never to post that kind of hateful rhetoric again. But as I discovered, there are thousands more like him—and they’re not sorry.

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5 thoughts on “‘If I Could Slit His Neck’: HanAssholeSolo Critic Describes Alt-Right Death Threats

  1. Bystanders really get upset when you compare the kind of behavior and threats described in a story like this to these guys:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=nazi+brown+shirts&biw=1242&bih=619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjL09uvocDLAhUEFR4KHboqBUsQsAQILA#imgrc=RWES8N-5njwXFM:

    I don’t know why. Perhaps readers of the Daily Stormer, and “ethnonationalists,” “white identitarians,” HanAssholeSolo, Neo Nazis, KKK, White Supremacists, and the other 900 plus hate groups don’t wear brown shirts. Yet countless of them, just like Hitler’s Stormtroopers, commit murder, hate crimes, mayhem and serious felony crimes. And thousands and thousands of them threaten to do the same.
    Go here to search through “only a fraction of the approximately 260,000 reported and unreported hate crimes that a 2013 government study estimated occur annually.” https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/hate-incidents?keyword=&page=1

    The FBI’s Hate Crime stats can be found here: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights/hate-crimes

    So you have to wonder why the Republican Law and Order crowd can’t be heard railing against these terrorists, criminals and anti-America predators. Where’s Mandatory Jeff when it comes to these serious offenders? Or is their a kinship of some kind that causes him to hold his lawyered up tongue?

    Like

    • As I recall, the only thing that bothers Mandatory Jeff about them, according to Jeff himself, is that they smoke weed.

      Like

  2. I’ll share an anecdote that colors most of my interpretation of the alt-right. I come from middle suburbia in a white-ish neighborhood in the middle of the country. I grew up in the nineties and graduated right before the Shrub was elected. In fact, that was the first election I got a chance to vote in and, since all of my friends were about the same age, it was the first time I engaged in political dialogue with peers. It was enlightening. My mix of friends was quite diverse, and included one person who would grow up to be a holocaust-denying alt-right protomorph. I’ll call him Joe here, but here’s his bio.

    Joe was a bright guy in my opinion. We all played MTG together with a small circle of friends in HS, which meant we were the geeks. Of course, in a group this small everyone had a personality that stuck out. Joe was loud – always quoting movies and going on about shit that he hated about his step-father. He hated that man with a passion. In fact, when he turned eighteen, he moved out of his mothers house and dropped out of school to move in with his real dad and marry his GF, who was already out of school. Looking back, I think she was in her twenties already, but that’s another story. I was shocked. I was never a great student, but I have no doubt that Joe was every bit as smart as I was. He dropped out of school and never looked back. He worked for a while in fast food, then moved on to work at a local furniture store in the warehouse. When I was in college, he actually had money. He was a nice guy to hang out with for a while.

    Then, one day, we were watching a hockey game on local television. He mentioned that one of the players was going to be on the all-star team because he was a ‘Ni**er’. I shook my head, but didn’t really pick up what he was putting down. This progressed and intensified through the early aughts, until he and his wife finally got to have a kid. At that point, our lives were diverging in ways that made it impossible for us to continue to remain friends. It wasn’t all him, either. I’ve made poor choices along the way too. The last conversation we had was about his biological father (the man he moved in with after he dropped out). He had just found out that his father was a cross-dresser. I was uncomfortable with the level of disgust that Joe displayed once he found out about this behavior, and that was all she wrote. I haven’t spoken to him in almost six years. All of a sudden, his father was a ‘queer’, ‘fa**ot’ and a lot of other less-nice things.

    Either way, Joe is what I think of when I think of the alt-right. I have no doubt that many of them would get in the streets and shoot people if they got the chance and were sure they wouldn’t get caught. Joe was an angry little man with quite a few firearms, but he was also impulsive and undisciplined. A person like that is dangerous to almost anyone, but not to everyone, if that makes sense.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was on /the_donald right now, having a circle-jerk with his friends about some godawful thing or another. He’s not a conservative, he’s certainly not a liberal. He just hates other people, particularly people who think they’re better than he is.

    ~SM

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  3. SM well said and very important for people to understand the undercurrents of hate that are now right on the surface with the crazy right’s new exposed platform. There is no doubt MANY of these forgotten racists would and will unleash their pent up rage on ANYONE guilty of any slight perceived or otherwise if they get the chance. They want a real life video game to create as much mayhem as possible. This is their “clarion call” fantasy, dreamed about and talked about for many years. They think they have a vehicle in place now with “Mien Trumpf” to unleash their anger and hate. This is real folks, not just a couple of nut cases running around with a hate agenda and if Trumpf stays in office it is only going to get worse.

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  4. Well, let me share a little story that happened just overnight and imagine my thoughts as I read this column today and an email I received this morning. Up until yesterday, a friend and I had exchanged a series of emails discussing, comparing, challenging, some heated ‘tones’ every now and then, a few chuckles, some days more serious than others, exchanging articles from various publications, trying to enlighten and convince each other to come across the line and side with me. Seemed to get more frustrating for him than me because I would not even read some of the trash he sent to me ….. from InfoWars, Dailywire, 70News, Reddit, Hannity, Alex Jones,and so many more….and I, in turn, sent him WaPo, CNN, Politico, and he called it fake news and refused to read them. Many times I even did research and sent him back great details and documentation of the authentic occurrence. A couple of times he ended a day with a rant that he was not going to read anything else I sent so don’t send it and he was never sending me anything else. The next day I always received another email with some crap article and my response was that he needed to please read honest news and learn about the ass he worshiped in that cult. This happened a few times!

    Then he sent me a CNN clip about the wrestling video and was outraged CNN threatened to expose the name of the person, etc. I told him the person had already come forward and apologized and I also had heard that on CNN but the social media were building it way out of proportion. Overnight he sent me a clip from CNN with the 1st lady of Poland “snubbing” trump and shaking the hand of Melania and I wrote back she did not snub him, she was merely focused on Melania and did shake his hand – that’s the way I saw the clip. His point was that a newsman from CNN had made a comment indicating she snubbed trump. I defended CNN as a reliable news source and that social media was out of control with some comments he had provided me to read – people were threatening violence against CNN personnel and they should be banned from WH, etc. He says 3.1 million people cannot be wrong, but I stood firm in defense and said well, about 65 million agree with me. (Trust me, NOW there will be no further communication from me)

    Here is the all caps email I received from him, (my apologies for the language he used):
    YOU ARE SO FUCKED IN THE HEAD. YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE FUCKING TRUTH NO
    MATTER HOW FUCKING TRUE THE FUCKING THING IS. YOU ARE NOW ON MY
    FUCKING BLOCKED FUCKING LIST. GOOD FUCKING BYE. GROW THE FUCK UP AND
    SMELL THE FUCKING TRUTH. YOU AND YOUR FUCKING LIBERALS ARE THE FUCKING
    REASON WE ARE SO FUCKING DIVIDED.

    So Curt, you are so right, it is only going to get worse!

    – Murphy

    Like

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